Doing it all the hard way...

Friday, July 1, 2016

DolDay3 Cortina to Alleghe

This day had been forecasted to be wet and the outlook hadn’t changed.  We donned Gabbas and hoped for the best. Many had finished the prior day cold and this day found us overdressed accordingly.
Gabba closing the Gappa
Based on the weather we had a “bail-out” plan to shorten the day.  It was sort of a “Suffer as much as you want” plan. The idea was to do the Passo Giau and then head up the Passo Fedina and if weather was good top out and turn around and had for the hotel. If the weather was bad you could either skip the second pass or go as far as you cared to go.
If I told you the moto pulled over because he had just been humiliated 
because some of our riders had passed him would you believe me?
Don't I look skinny and kind of badass?
I worked hard to become such
It's a Gabba Gabba good time
We climbed the Passo Giau which was featured in the Giro this year.   Although the clouds were dark grey we reached the top dry and happy.  
Up and up we go.
Nearing the summit
The sign didn't need a FUEL sticker
As always the descent was awesome. A chance to be a kid again.

Some of us stopped to boost our willpower with caffeine before setting off on the Passo Fednia climb.  Some opted to head directly to the hotel while others, myself included headed up the second pass.
This is what courage looks like in Italy.  It costs one euro.
A troll lives at the end of this path..
The rain started off lightly and I soldiered on.  Jens had gone ahead and was already descending.  He cautioned that it was really raining hard at the pass.  I thanked him and continued climbing.  
Looks promising right?
I caught KB and The Cheetah who were stopped and having the “do we turn around” conversation.  We all had put on more layers in anticipation of the rain.  They decided to turn around and I bid them farewell and climbed on.  Within seconds the rain intensified.  Mentally I was not ready to turn around.
How miserable would you care to be Davo? 

I rode on head down watching the rain drops hit my arms.  I looked around me and up the road.  I was in a wooded area so my views were obscured. What I would see through the trees were dark clouds and more rain.  The bottom line was there was no view to enjoy. Watching my arms and legs get soaked isn’t my idea of fun.

I stopped, spun around and caught KB and The Cheetah who speeding headed downhill.  The rain pelted my face as I squeezed my bars to force more blood into my hands I did not want to get cold.

Before long we were out of the rain and I considered turning around again and giving the climb another try.  I looked back over my shoulder at the mountain and it was dark and wet.  We continued on toward our hotel.
I got a text message from McWoodie that they had found a pizza place behind the hotel.  We found the bunch and had some pizza.  I know it is cliché but the pizza was super good.  The downtime was a good opportunity for us to bond with our German brothers.  Although the language continued to add some complexity, from this time forward we were a single group with a couple different accents.
It was good to have a bit more time and we took advantage.  Although it was dry when we arrived soon the rain hit us.  It was off and on the rest of the day.  

Success depends on treating your body well, hence a bit of narcissism is required. We are men so we are already well equipped to meet this challenge. Keeping track of hydration and nutrition and laundry etc. takes even more mental energy when you’re jet lagged and riding six hours a day.  Having some extra time for socialization this day was good for all of us.
Rain on the lake
Our hotel on the lake was idyllic. From inside we could see the thickly forested slopes rise above the deep green lake toward the silver grey spires.  Dark clouds hung over the far end of the lake reminding us of our elevation and the ominous mountain weather that loomed just beyond.  It felt good to be warm and dry and inside.
After dinner the clouds parted and we were promised the next day the ride would be dry

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